SupplierPay - Staff FAQs

Staff Frequently Asked Questions
  1. Why is St. Lawrence University expanding our commercial card program?
  • We have been focused on optimizing our Procure-to-Pay process with an emphasis on cost reduction and streamlining operations; a key part of this effort has been working to grow our commercial card program.
  • An increase in the number of suppliers paid by Visa payment solutions will allow us to continue to grow our card program and help enable us to realize benefits as follows:
    • Process Efficiency: Our University can reduce internal processing and transaction costs by streamlining the payment process and reducing invoice processing and check payment.
    • Working Capital Management: We can improve our working capital position due to the longer settlement process of the card statement with the issuing bank as compared with our current payment process.
    • Spend Visibility and Enhanced Data: Data from the card program allows us to gain insight into spend, which can give us better control over what we buy from which suppliers and at what price.
    • Supplier Management: Analyses from card program data can help to facilitate negotiation with suppliers and identification of opportunities to select preferred suppliers.
  1. How do we process requisitions and invoices for suppliers enrolled in Supplier Pay?
  • When processing purchase requisitions and invoices choose “SP” as the AP type for those vendors participating in the Supplier Pay program. A list of participating vendors can be found on the Business Office website.
  • Suppliers will receive an email notification for each payment instructing them how to obtain the card account, the amount to process using their Point-of-Sale device/software, and other pertinent details of the transaction. Each payment will leverage a unique card account so suppliers will not be required to keep this information on file.

 

  1. Why is the University trying to grow the Supplier Pay Program?
  • The Supplier Pay Program will bring us leading edge Procure-to-Pay capabilities.
  • The process is simple and provides the University with additional benefits from controls, working capital, and data capture.
  • The process will allow both our suppliers and our University to streamline operations.

 

  1. What quantifiable benefits does the commercial card program provide?
  • Compared to checks, the Supplier Pay program can generate cost savings by:
    • Streamlining payment processing activities
    • Reducing accounts payable overhead required to process traditional payments
    • Removing risk of late payment to suppliers
    • Improving spend controls to limit maverick spend
    • Eliminating material costs such as check production, paper and postage

 

  1. What are the benefits to our suppliers of receiving payment by Visa payment solutions instead of check?
  • More and more, our suppliers are coming to realize that they can enjoy significant, tangible savings from accepting Visa card payments from their customers, including:
    • Process Efficiency: Suppliers can reduce internal processing and transaction costs by eliminating paper-based processes, including check processing and associated reconciliation efforts.
    • Working Capital Management: As an incentive, St. Lawrence is agreeing to pay card accepting suppliers on approval of invoices, which may result in a significant acceleration of payment.
    • Customer Acquisition and Retention: By allowing our University to pay by Visa card payments, our suppliers provide a valued service which may be a determining factor in becoming or remaining a preferred supplier.

 

  1. Are there any fees to our suppliers for receiving payment by Visa card payments instead of check?
  • The standard processing fees administered by the supplier’s acquiring bank will apply. We encourage suppliers to review their merchant acquirer agreement and discuss ways to achieve the most favorable rates with their acquirer.

 

  1. How can our employees encourage use of Visa payment solutions?
  • We need to communicate the benefits of Visa card payments to our employees and suppliers and inform them that we expect compliance with all guidelines.

 

Supplier Management

  1. How do suppliers get set up for this program or what do they need to do to accept Visa card payments?
  • For those suppliers who currently accept credit card payments, they can begin this new payment arrangement by completing the enrollment form at the link below:

Enrollment Form

  • Suppliers will then receive an automated email notification for each payment. These emails will contain a link to a secure web portal where the supplier will obtain a unique Visa credit card account number, the amount to charge, and the other pertinent details of the transaction needed to process and reconcile the payments. The credit card account number will change with each payment so suppliers will not be required to keep this information on file. We also ask that suppliers include the appropriate invoice number(s) and/or purchase order number(s) when processing the transaction for our reference.
  • For those suppliers who are not currently set up with a merchant account, to arrange for basic Visa card acceptance, have the supplier call their corporate banking service provider or contact our preferred credit card service provider, M&T Merchant Services. M&T is a bank card acquirer that specializes in business-to-business transaction processing. Suppliers can reach an M&T Merchant Account Representative at 800-897-6311.

 

Additional Help

 

  1. Where can suppliers find more information about accepting Visa card payments?

 

  1. Who do I contact if I have additional questions?
  • For enrollment support, please contact the Purchasing Department at purchasing@stlawu.edu.
  • For questions about the St. Lawrence Supplier Pay Program , contact Mary Cosmo at mcosmo@stlawu.edu or extension 5564.